Nov. 30, 2011
Bearcats fall in opener 68-56 to Hornets
By David Boyce
Early in the second half Wednesday evening at Bearcat Arena, Northwest Missouri State women’s basketball team faced a 22-point deficit against Emporia State.
The outcome was pretty much decided in the MIAA opener for both teams. It would have been easy for Northwest to throw up wild three-point shots in a desperate attempt to mount a comeback.
Instead, the Bearcats stayed in control and fed the ball inside to 6-foot-3 freshman Maggie Marnin and junior twins Alexis and Candace Boeh.
Although Northwest wound up losing 68-56, the way the Bearcats worked on establishing a post offense should pay off later in conference play.
“It wasn’t really the game plan, but we discovered it as we went along,” Northwest coach Gene Steinmeyer said.
In the first half, the Bearcats only consistent offense came from Candace Boeh, who made four of seven shots from the field. Her offense was not enough to keep pace with the Hornets.
Emporia State held a 26-13 lead with 6:56 left in the first half and went into halftime ahead 34-24.
The Bearcats got off to a rocky start to begin the second half and saw their deficit grow to 48-26 in less than 5 minutes.
At that point, the game was in jeopardy of turning into a full-fledge blowout. Marnin, who missed all four of her shot attempts in the first half, stopped a 9-0 run by Emporia State with an inside basket.
“She got muscled in the first half, even though the other kid was a freshman,” Steinmeyer said. “She was a lot stronger than Maggie. In the second half, Maggie learned to adjust.
“Maggie is going to get better every game. I have nothing but great things to say about Maggie. You know what is great about it is the twins, even though it is cutting into their playing time, they are being great teammates and helping each other out. I appreciate that, too.”
Marnin said the Alexis and Candace have been a big help. She was amazed at the way they played Wednesday night. Candace was five for 11 from the field and finished with a team-high 11 points, and Alexis made three of her five shots and finished with six points. Marnin also scored six points.
“Those girls are the sweetest girls around,” Marnin said. “But when you get them in a basketball game, they get you ready. They played so awesome tonight. I don’t know if it was a twin thing, but they had it going on. They knew what to do and they finished. They are just the best.
“I was definitely nervous. I heard the MIAA is unlike any other conference. Tonight, I realized that. My teammates were cheering me on and that really helps.”
Throughout much of the second half it was clear the Bearcats were going to make a concerted effort the push the ball inside.
During a 7-minute stretch, Marnin scored two more field goals as Northwest closed to 53-36.
“I think she (Marnin) did really well,” Candace Boeh said. “As a freshman it is hard in the MIAA because it is really tough. She held her ground. We just hope to get better every day.
“I think it is really important to establish an inside game. It gives our really good outside shooters an opportunity.”
The scoring from the post coupled with the inside drives by senior guard Abby Henry allowed Northwest to basically match Emporia State scoring over the final 15 minutes of the game.
Another positive sign for the Bearcats was the all out hustle until the very end. A perfect example of it occurred with just over 2 minutes left and Northwest trailing 68-51.
Alexis Boeh and Henry cornered Rachel Hanf and stole the ball. Senior Tara Roach got the ball inside and missed a shot. She continued to battle for the ball, got the offensive rebound and scored.
In the final 3 minutes of the second half, the Bearcats scored the last seven points.
“I think it is really important to never give up,” Candace Boeh said. “In MIAA games it is never easy. But if we continue to work hard and never give up, good things will come.”
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